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Boy, did you start something--I woke up in the wee hours realizing that
there was one more thing I should have said about drama in the art room.
The teacher is always an actor. Not in the sense of wearing a false face or
presenting yourself as something you are not, but as a communicator. Now
that is much more than just presenting facts--it's sharing those facts along
with all the warmth, understanding, enthusiasm, excitement and awe you
personally have to share.
The teacher is always--always--a story teller. Think about teachers you
have known--some told the story well and made things come alive for you;
others were as dusty as the facts they presented. Everything and everyone
has a story--and that story is more than just what happened or is happening
("the facts, ma'am; just the facts") --it's color and sound, texture and
weather, action and reaction, emotion and the unknown, question and opinion,
the real, the sensed and the imagined.
Your students are story tellers, too--their work tells their story. In the
words of a wonderful Christmas story I'm preparing to tell next month about
a little boy who couldn't talk--
"Jamie could say things on paper!" (A Certain Small Shepherd, Rebecca
But back to teaching as being on stage. My husband is a pastor and over the
years we have had many teams of college students who have come to share a
message with our congregations. These presentations were sincere and often
heart warming--if sometimes awkward and inexperienced.
One group stands out in my memory. Their presentation was
choreographed--every move, every word was planned to make a polished,
seamless, "carry you along with us" presentation--no distracting awkwardness
there. And the audience responded to this.
Now I know only too well that teachers don't have time to prepare with that
kind of thoroughness--but it is something to be aware of. Being "on-stage"